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Museum Collection

Illustrations by O.G.Vereisky

The famous artist Orest Vereisky transferred a collection of his illustrations to the works by M.A.Sholokhov to the Museum-Reserve in the March of 1985. The illustrations to the novels “And Quiet Flows the Don”, “Virgin Soil Upturned”, ”They Fought for Their Country”, the stories “The Science of Hatred” and “The Fate of a Man” are often displayed at permanent and visiting exhibitions and enjoy a full success with the visitors. There are 68 illustrations by the artist in the Museum collection.

Orest Vereisky turned to the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” in 1951–1952. In his book “Meetings on the Way” he writes: “In those years I seemed to live among the personages created by Sholokhov, I fell asleep and woke up with a thought about them. Those were very difficult and very happy years… Mikhail Sholokhov portrayed his personages so vividly, that knowing them better than your close acquaintances, is it difficult to picture them on paper? And the landscapes, and scenes of everyday life, they are not merely described, they are almost pictured. There is the only truth in everything, and my only responsibility is not to distort it.”

Orest Georgiyevich recalls about the meeting with the writer: “Mikhail Alexandrovich didn’t give me any author’s instructions or recommendations. He only advised which stanitsas I should visit and which of the remaining witnesses of the events described it was useful to see. And he wished me success… In the recent years I often returned to Sholokhov’s works. I made drawings to “Virgin Soil Upturned”, “The Tales of the Don”, to his books written in the war years. But my first meeting with the first book by Sholokhov – “And Quiet Flows the Don”, like the first love, is never forgotten. I am grateful to the author of the great book. My drawings and these lines is a feasible tribute to his memory.”

The artist created 47 drawings and page illustrations: “Grigory, a commander of the insurgent division”, “Grigory and Aksinya”, “The wedding of Grigory and Nataliya”, “Petro Melekhov is reading the order about handing over the squadron”, and others. The works are made in black-and-white and coloured watercolours, the main emphasis being made on disclosure of the characters of the novel.

M.A.Sholokhov liked the drawings by Vereisky. In 1975, when the writer’s Collected Works were being prepared for publication as a supplement to the magazine “Ogonyok”, he advised to take illustrations of this talented artist. And later Sholokhov’s books were published in huge circulations in different publishing houses with illustrations by O.G.Vereisky.

For thirteen years the artist had worked over the illustrations to the novel “Virgin Soil Upturned” resulting in 50 drawings in 1968.

In 1958, O.G.Vereisky made illustrations to the story “The Fate of a Man” by M.A.Sholokhov. The portrait of Andrey Sokolov was repeated, and more than 10 illustrations were created anew. Vereisky took part in the film of S.Bondarchuk “The Fate of a Man” as a costume designer.

In 1974, illustrations to the story “The Science of Hatred” and to the chapters of the novel “They Fought for Their Country” were published. Ten years later the artist made new variants of illustrations to these works, and in 1985, the book was issued in the publisher “Sovetsky Pisatel”.

In the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholkhov there are 68 works by O.G.Vereisky: 16 illustrations to the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”, 34– to “Virgin Soil Upturned”, 1– to “The Science of Hatred”, 14– to “The Fate of a Man”, 3- to the chapters of the novel “They Fought for Their Country”.

Orest Georgiyevich Vereisky (1915, Anosovo Village, now the Smolensk Region – 1993, Moscow) is the well-known Russian graphic artist, the son of the artist Georgy Semyonovich Vereisky.

He was a veteran of the Great Patriotic War, served in the front newspaper “Krasnoarmeiskaya Pravda”, joined the Western, then the 3d Belorussian fronts to reach Kenigsberg. O.G.Vereisky was the Correspondent Member of the USSR Academy of Fine Arts (1958), the People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1970), Member of the USSR Academy of Fine Arts (1983), the People’s Artist of the USSR (1983).

O.G.Vereisky illustrated the works by M.A.Sholokhov, K.G.Paustovsky, A.A.Fadeyev, M.M.Prishvin, I.A.Bunin, E.Hemingway and other writers, created many works of graphics: series of drawings, watercolours, and autolithographies. The works of the master are kept in many museums and galleries of Russia and foreign countries.

 

 

Valentina Leonova